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Full text of "[untitled] The American Historical Review, (1899-12-01), pages 342-343"

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342 Reviews of Books 

waited until the French heavy guns opened, the walls would be knocked 
to splinters, and he would lose both fort and garrison. 

In his account of the unsuccessful defence of Fort William Henry, 
M. Waddington fails to do full justice to the gallant efforts of the defend- 
ers. He gives the impression that the display of the white flag was sudden 
and without sufficient reason. His eyes are too closely fixed upon Mont- 
calm's skilful approaches to note the struggles and sufferings of the garri- 
son. In describing the massacre which followed he minimizes the loss of 
life, even seriously quoting the ridiculous estimate of Vaudreuil of five 
or six as a possibility, though lending more weight to the opinions of 
Levis and Pere Koubaud, who were agreed that fifty were killed. Per- 
haps this is not too much partiality to expect of even so scholarly a 
French writer. The spirit of the narrative is studiously fair throughout. 

It is unfortunate that a book so rich in material is not provided with 
a detailed table of contents, to say nothing of an index. The table of 
contents occupies half a page. 

Henry E. Bourne. 

Mhnoires du Comte de More (1758— 1837). Publies pour la Societe 
d'Histoire Contemporaine par M. Geoffroy de Grandmaison et 
le Comte de Pontgibaud. (Paris : Alphonse Picard et Fils. 
1898. Pp.343-) 

Charles-Albert de More de Pontgibaud, afterwards the Comte 
de Mor6, was born April 21, 1758. He was the second son of the 
Comte de Pontgibaud, whose estates were in Auvergne. In 1773 he 
went to live in Paris, where he at once gave himself up to such a life of 
dissipation that his family became alarmed lest they should be scandal- 
ized. Accordingly they decided to have him imprisoned and procured 
a lettre de cachet for the purpose, ordering him to be confined in the 
castle or donjon of Pierre-en-Cize. This was in 1775. In the autumn 
of 1777 he dug his way through the ten-foot wall of his cell and made 
his escape. Through a neighbor he announced this to his father. Hav- 
ing learned that Lafayette and other Frenchmen had gone to help the 
Americans against the British, he proposed to his father through the 
same messenger to try the fortunes of war in America. His father con- 
sented and granted him a pension, and ere long the young man was cross- 
ing the Atlantic. 

His vessel was wrecked in Chesapeake Bay and plundered by pirates- 
and he himself left destitute. He made his way to Williamsburg, and' 
saw Governor Jefferson, who gave him a passport, with which he set out 
to find the army. He presented himself to Lafayette, who made him an 
aide-de-camp. He seems to have been constantly with Lafayette from 
that time forth. 

His first battle was the battle of Monmouth. Of Lee's retreat he 
says : "I was present at that affair, when M. de Lafayette was under 
the orders of Lee. We were beaten completely ; our soldiers fled in the 



Memoires du Comte de More 343 

most beautiful disorder ; we were never able to rally them, nor to make 
as many as thirty men stop ; and, as is usual, the general who com- 
manded was accused of treason. ' ' The author of the Memoires speaks 
rather briefly of the operations of the army about New York, but he 
gives in considerable detail the story of Arnold and Andre. He tells us 
that he was present with Colonel Hamilton when the latter examined the 
prisoner who proved to be Major Andre. 

A feature of the siege of Newport is thus described : ' ' Scarcely had 
the troops of the line disembarked when the militia arrived to the num- 
ber, I believe, of ten thousand men, as well on foot as on horseback. I 
have never seen a more comical spectacle." He proceeds to describe 
them, then he adds : "I judged that these warriors did not come to see 
the enemy too near, but to help us to eat our provisions ; I was not de- 
ceived ; the latter disappeared with rapidity. ' ' 

When Lafayette returned to France after the raising of the siege of 
Newport, the Comte de More (to call him by a title he did not yet bear) 
went with him. He likewise returned to America with him, and re- 
mained with the army until the surrender of Cornwallis. 

In 1793, an exile from France and without means, the count learned 
one day that the American government proposed to pay its debts. He 
came to America at once, and received for his services, including interest, 
fifty thousand francs. The account of this visit is among the most inter- 
esting portion of the memoirs. The count met here many noted French 
refugees, and he also conversed with American statesmen. 

The count's view of the French Revolution was rather a melancholy 
one. He had little sympathy for the revolutionists, but clung to the last 
to the old order. He was urged to join his former brothers in arms and 
serve under Lafayette, but he refused. "It has been well said," he re- 
marks, "that the most difficult thing is not to do one's duty, but to 

know it. I have done mine because I knew it I believed that 

I should put myself on the side of the monarchy by emigrating. ' ' 

These memoirs are written in a style that is straightforward and with- 
out flourish, but they are almost always interesting because the count was 
during much of his life in the midst of stirring events. The memoires 
proper end with 18 14. The volume contains, besides, fifty-one letters 
of the count, written during the years 1815-1832. There are five en- 
gravings in the volume, among them a portrait of the count himself. 
There are numerous footnotes by the editors, chiefly biographical of per- 
sons mentioned in the text. A translation of the memoirs, under the title 
A French Volunteer of the War of Independence, was published in 1898. 
It should be said also that the French was printed in 1828, but (Honore 
de Balzac having been the printer) that edition is now very rare. 

Edmund C. Burnett. 

VOL. V. — 23